Limerick is making a strong declaration of both solidarity with the Ukrainian people and opposition to the Russian invasion by facilitating a collection from today of medical goods and other essential items for hospitals in the war-torn nation.
Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Twenty Thirty and University of Limerick have joined ranks to support the ‘Help for Ukraine’ campaign to send medical and other related supplies to Ukraine hospitals from Limerick by as early as the weekend.
The vast warehouse space at the Cleeves Riverside Quarter site in the heart of Limerick has been made available free of charge as a central depot for the goods. The site is operated by Limerick Twenty Thirty, which is a 100% uniquely owned special purpose vehicle of Limerick City and County Council that will develop the site over the coming years.
The collection of items starts this Tuesday evening, with volunteers on hand on hand daily from 5pm to 7pm, to receive goods at the Cleeves Site on O’Callaghan Strand. Logistics arrangements already in place for the consignment to be shipped on Saturday, arriving on the Ukraine border on Monday and then dispatched by NGO ‘Pokolenie’ to hospitals via a ‘safe corridor’ to hospitals in Ukraine.
The ‘Help for Ukraine’ programme was initiated after Polish native Anna Mazeika, who has been living in Limerick for 17 years and is a representative of Pokolenie, contacted Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Daniel Butler at the weekend, asking for his support for her campaign to send medical supplies from Limerick to hospitals in Ukraine.
Mayor Butler enlisted the support of Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Twenty Thirty and UL to ensure a coordinate response, the outcome being the opening of warehouse doors today at the Cleeves Site to store the supplies until they begin 3,000km journey to Ukraine at the weekend.
The public is now asked to purchase and deliver a range of specific items for the appeal.
Medical supplies are the priority but other items being sought include disinfecting liquids, power banks (charged), batteries, flashlights, headlamps and stainless-steel bottles. The full list can be viewed on Help for Ukraine Facebook event account.
Mayor Butler said: “Anna made contact with me out of the blue and it was the easiest ‘yes’ I’ve given to any request during my term as Mayor. We’re all outraged, saddened and shocked by what we are seeing unfold here in Europe in 2022. At the same time, we are marveling at the incredible bravery of the people of Ukraine and the support from the likes of Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. In fact, we’re humbled by what we are seeing so the least we can do is support this initiative to get medical and other essential supplies out to Ukraine.
“We cannot sit idly by and watch the atrocities happening in Ukraine. We must do all we can to help. I am encouraging anyone who can to support the Help for Ukraine group and give what they can from the list of items identified to help innocent adults and children in Ukraine.”
Anna explained: “My sister and I decided at the weekend that we wanted to do something to help and I decided to contact the Mayor out of the blue and he got on board immediately. We started out by looking for enough medical supplies to fill a van to drive to Ukraine but it now looks like we are going to get a truck full.
“My employers, Serosep Diagnostic Solutions, which is a Limerick born and bred company, and its CEO Dermot Scanlon, got behind the appeal immediately, as have Fleming Medical, another local firm, which is giving a huge reduction off the cost of medical supplies. Now we have the local authority, UL and Limerick Twenty Thirty getting behind us, not least with providing the warehousing in Cleeves. It’s a combined effort and it means so much to be able to do something. We are getting a very positive response to this initiative and people are purchasing items from pharmacies and supermarkets. It's all about treating injuries so people will be guided by in-store experts if they don’t know themselves what to buy.”
David Conway, CEO of Limerick Twenty Thirty, said that the ‘Help for Ukraine’ appeal is something the organisation was happy to support.
“What’s happening in Ukraine is difficult to believe and I think we all feel a bit helpless in the circumstances but there’s always something you can do. For us that means making the Cleeves Riverside Quarter warehousing available for free but for the wider public, they now have a place to drop off medical supplies and other essential items to. I’ve no doubt that Limerick will respond massively by way of support,” he said.
University of Limerick President Kerstin Mey said: “Many members of the UL staff and student community have been in contact to express their wish to help and support the Ukrainian people in whatever way they can. Our sense of outrage can be channelled into action and I have no doubt the people of Limerick and region will respond to this support opportunity.”
Members of the public are being urged to drop off the items to the Cleeves site which will be open this Tuesday to Friday, March 1-4, from 5-7pm each evening.